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The Chessboard Tightrope

A Tarotale Of Connection

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 2 months ago • 3 min read


This is a story based on eight drawn tarot cards and Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's "Oblique Strategies". The drawn cards are here. The story is determined by these cards but may feel crazy and confusing because the oblique strategy method will be used for each card and I will weave that into the story.

I intend to use my interpretations of the images on the cards as my interpretations of that part of the story. This may result in surreal and ludicrous situations, but that is the nature of attempting stories like this based on random prompts, a bit like reading Tarot cards (or any other type of divination that people may try to use).

Cards Drawn

The article I wrote on this methodology is here.

The Chessboard Tightrope

What did that mean, tightropes have nothing to do with chess or any other board games but this meant something, or forecast something was going to happen.


They were two lovers who were trying to find each other in this city. Like many cities, this was laid out in a defined numerical format for the street names and every block is like a square on a chessboard, but which square were they on or in? They sang songs in the hope that their lover would find them like a mating call, but their songs soon settled into a rhythm thrumming through the streets of the city.


Eyes stared out from skull-like faces which she hoped could direct her to where her lover was. He was in a room with a pentacle and tarot cards looking for directions to his lover. They were both convinced that the government were spying on them so they no longer had digital devices such as phones or computers, they had been thrown in the river. The problem now was that because they moved around and trusted no one, they had lost each other. They were both tempted to go back to their old devices but they would feel that they had been beaten by those in power.


He saw a stick against the wall and took hold of it, and waved it around like it was a wand or something. It had a thread connected to it and that gave him an idea.

On another chess square, she had a wand too with a thread, and she thought what if we used these to stay connected, never go further than the thread would let her?

They would have to be much closer together but they were both fine with that and bound by a physical tight rope that the digital spies could not use to track them


They saw each other across the street and went to get a coffee together. They both had reusable cups so got their discount at the local Starbucks. They both had their threaded wands and connected them to make sure that they weren't parted again but had to find somewhere in this city where their chessboard tightrope would keep them connected.


There was a Tower Block close by which had never been occupied but was decaying with immaculate consistency while never changing since its construction. That would be a perfect place for them to stay and be connected. They finished their coffees, packed up their cups and made their way to the Tower.


Life for them was a wheel of fortune, left channel, right channel, centre channel, they never really knew where they would be or what would happen, but were together now, and they intended it to stay that way as they unpacked their bags in adjoining rooms in the Tower.


Their chessboard tightrope connection was now the force that would hold them together forever.


A Concluding Addendum

This has been constructed from the surreal concept of the Chessboard Tightrope, two words that do not belong to together. Then taking the tarot cards as prompts without reading up on the deeper meaning of the cards and peppering the story with lines generated from Oblique Strategies.

I hope you have found it entertaining if a little surreal and incoherent, but this is something that everyone could do.

The video is an old piece I did on Grarageband when I had an iPad

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (4)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    A very fascinating concept! Loved it!

  • Denise E Lindquist2 months ago

    Interesting. I know very little about Tarot. I have had a few readings that were also interesting.💕😃

  • Donna Fox2 months ago

    I like that you did an introduction and explained part of your creative process for this story. This was an interesting piece, thought provoking and engaging! Nice work!

  • Nice ✨😉

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